Winning three out of four of the games in this series, the Atlanta Braves started to look a little more like an impressive MLB team. Winning the first two, the Braves had some serious momentum going into game three… until it was postponed a day because of the rain. They played a doubleheader for the last two games, and split those with the Cards.
Game One: Charlie Morton vs. John Gant, Braves won 4-0
What a game for Charlie Morton! He went 7.2 innings, allowed only three hits, ZERO runs, ZERO walks, oh and he had seven strikeouts. He was very impressive, and it was so nice to see a Braves starting pitcher go more than five innings. He dominated over St. Louis’ lineup, throwing pitches they couldn’t see and hitting his spots wonderfully.
Offensively, in the game, it was ALL Braves. Guillermo Heredia broke the scoreless streak in the bottom of the fifth inning when he hit a solo home run, giving the Braves a 1-0 lead. They added onto that 1-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth when, my man, Ozzie Albies had an RBI triple that scored Acuña and extended the lead to 2-0. It amazes me how fast Ozzie is. He flies around the base pads! Abraham Almonte followed Ozzie’s triple with an RBI double that scored Ozzie and made it a 3-0 game.
The Braves scored their final score on a sac fly by Ronald Acuña Jr. in the bottom of the seventh. That sac fly scored Heredia and made the score 4-0. That was the final score of this game. I think we can all agree… the superstar of this game was Charlie Morton.
Game Two: Max Fried vs. Carlos Martínez, Braves won 9-1
In baseball, there’s nothing I love more than a Braves win. Well… except when Ozzie Albies has a great night. And in this game, he did awesome!! We’ll get into everything he did in greater detail, but he was 3-5 with a home run. Also, he was just a triple away from hitting for the cycle.
Max Fried pitched very well for the Braves. He went seven innings, only allowed two hits and one run. He did have two walks, but he also had six strikeouts. Fried never seemed to get himself into any trouble. He had a few baserunners scattered, but it was never a “concern.” He had good command over his pitches and his pitch count. Overall it was just a great outing for Max Fried.
The one run that the St. Louis Cardinals scored was in the bottom of the first on an RBI groundout by Paul Goldschmidt. It also gave them a 1-0 lead. (Which didn’t last long!)
The Braves came right back to tie the game at one in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by Austin Riley that scored Ozzie, who reached base with a double in the previous AB. That single tied the game at one apiece.
The second inning is where Atlanta’s offense did a lot of their damage. William Contreras led off the Braves half of the second with a ONE PITCH solo home run to left center field. That bomb off of his bat gave the Braves a 2-1 lead. After two quick outs of the Braves eighth place hitter (Heredia) and the pitcher (Fried), Acuña drew a walk to keep the inning alive. Following his walk, Ronald stole second base to get into scoring position. Freddie Freeman had an RBI single to score Acuña and extend the Braves lead to 3-1. And then… my man, Ozzie Albies, on the second pitch he saw, hit a monstrous two-run home run into the TOP of the Chop House extending the Braves lead to 5-1. That baseball went so far off of Ozzie’s bat… I didn’t know if it was ever gonna land!
Along with the second inning, the fourth inning was where the Braves scored the rest of their runs. Acuña was hit by a pitch, which was followed by a walk to Freeman. Ozzie came up and had an RBI single that scored Acuña. However, Ozzie wasn’t gonna be satisfied with just a single. Using his speed he stretched it into a double after review. That made the score 6-1. Abraham Almonte followed Ozzie’s single-double with an RBI single of his own to score Freeman and extend the Braves lead to 7-1. Austin Riley then scored Ozzie with a sac fly, making it 8-1. Dansby Swanson followed Riley with a single and then Contreras followed him with a walk to load the bases with Braves. Max Fried came up with two out and drew a 6-pitch, bases loaded walk to extend the Braves lead to 9-1; the final score.
This was a very good game for the Braves all around. Starting pitching, bullpen pitching, offensive and run scoring, good defense; it all clicked for the Atlanta Braves.
Game Three: Bryse Wilson vs. Adam Wainwright, Braves lost 9-1; game one of doubleheader
Bryse Wilson didn’t have that great of a start for Atlanta. He only went four innings, allowed eight hits and five runs. He didn’t give up a walk and he had four strikeouts, which was a good thing. In fact, that was probably the most encouraging thing of his start.
After the off day because of the rain, it was like the Braves lost their offensive momentum, and St. Louis took great advantage of it. They scored a total of nine runs. The Braves only scored one, and that was when the Braves had a double steal which allowed Freeman to score in the bottom of the fourth on a strikeout of Almonte.
Overall the biggest problem for Atlanta in this game, was pitching. That really has been the Braves’ main problem of this season. Bullpen pitching has gotten better, but it still needs work.
Game Four: Drew Smyly vs. Kwang Hyun Kim, Braves won 1-0; game two of doubleheader
What a game! It was close, suspenseful, and worthwhile because the Braves came out on top.
Drew Smyly pitched fantastic. He went 5.2 innings, gave up one hit, ZERO runs, three walks, and he had five strikeouts. He dominated over the Cardinals’ lineup, and it paid off.
The bullpen for Atlanta was great in this game. The bullpen only gave up one hit, and three walks. Other than that they were lights out. This win proves even more that when the Braves have good pitching, it doesn’t matter how many runs they score… as long as it’s more than the other team.
That ONE run that the Braves scored was in the bottom of the third. It was on a solo home run by Ronald Acuña Jr. He smoked that ball to straightaway center, and it gave the Atlanta Braves a 1-0 lead.
End the end, this series was good for the Braves. They had much better pitching, and some much awaited offense!